Lonely Community Elders Beware: BPP Press Release

We were all told in our youth that relationships are pre decided in heaven and that we are born in a family and continue in that family till our very end. Unfortunately today we are facing a situation where relationships are being created in hospitals and homes for the aged, where asset seekers are lurking around to find a sick and lonely elder with assets and no encumbrances to suddenly embrace as their "dear Maasi" or "Maasa". While this may sound un-fair, unethical and impossible in our upright honest Parsi community, recent events have shown that members of our own community are prepared to stoop to any level to grab assets and try and declare themselves as relatives of the lonely old and feeble, with an attempt to become legal guardians or heirs, illegally, in order to take over their estate and even their residential premises.

We are highlighting a recent incident that has really shocked us and prompted us to caution our community members on this unfortunate trend.

The Case: An elderly single, divorced lady, Miss Mani Dhunjishaw Bharucha (86 years old) living all alone at D-Block, Cusrow Baug was admitted to the Parsi General Hospital in December, 2012 by a concerned neighbour, Mr. Farrokh Ragina, who was also looking after her and had visited her on several occasions in the hospital during her 3 month stay. During her stay in hospital she was also visited by trustee Mrs. Armaity Tirandaz as a goodwill gesture. Miss Bharucha passed away at 4.45pm on the 12th of March, 2013 and the body was brought to Doongerwadi at 9.15 pm in the BPP hearse.

The TWIST: Immediately on hearing of her death, one Parsi, introducing himself as Mr. Mehernosh Fitter, a resident of Dadar, and a self professed social worker rushed to the hospital and decided to stake his claim to the body of the late Miss. Bharucha, claiming that she was his aunt (kakiji) and that her body should be handed over to him as he was her relative and the "rightful heir". What is even more disconcerting is that, at the hospital on the 12th of March, Mr. Fitter snatched "Form 4" from Mr. Farrokh Ragina in front of the superintendant of the hospital and signed himself as the claimant of the body below Mr. Ragina’s signature which in fact was already released to Mr. Ragina by the hospital staff and not to Mr. Fitter (Enclosed Form 4 issued by the hospital, to show Mr. Fitter’s appended signature below Mr. Ragina’s signature). In fact, it was Mr. Ragina who is a resident of Cusrow Baug and close family friends from childhood of Ms. Bharucha, who had her admitted to the Parsi General Hospital, in the first instance. Mr. Fitter, it would seem, tried to claim the body of Ms. Bharucha, for his own reasons. Since the stakes were high, and probably Mr. Fitter had done his homework, he went and lodged a complaint that night on 12th March with the Gamdevi Police Station, where he claimed that she was his aunt (kakiji) and the body should be handed over to him. Mr. Fitter went on to get his name and relationship filled into "Form 5" (for taking possession of body) at Gamdevi Police Station giving his residence address as "D-4, first floor, Cusrow Baug, Colaba", which is in fact Miss Mani Bharucha’s residence, and showing her relationship to him as "kakiji". (Enclosed is a copy of the said Form 5 showing the encircled statement made by Mr. Fitter) Mr. Fitter is a well known resident at Dadar Parsi Colony, but boldly made statements in writing, assuming that there was no one to challenge him and that the Trustees of the B.P.P. would not bother or be aware of the facts and incidents that occurred.

This is where he was wrong, since the Trustees of the B.P.P. saw through his game and immediately decided to act and thwart Mr. Fitter’s plans to masquerade as the nephew of a deceased person. Mr. Fitter was so angered, that he lodged a formal complaint with the police against two B.P.P. Trustees, Chairman Mr. Dinshaw Mehta and Trustee Mrs. Armaity Tirandaz for not handing over the body to him. Luckily, all our trustees stood their ground and did not allow themselves to be threatened. It needs to mentioned here that the Chairman was in Delhi on 11th and 12th March attending a two day seminar/workshop of National Conference of Minority Commission of all the States having state level commissions.

BPP’S Concern: How could Mr. Fitter claim that Ms. Bharucha was his aunt, when she had no blood relations who cared for her, during the latter half of her lifetime? Trustee, Mrs. Armaity Tirandaz, knowing Mr. Fitter well, was vigilant and moved swiftly to prevent Mr. Fitter to take possession of the body as he wrongly claimed that the body of the deceased was that of his aunt, when in fact that was not the case. Hence, the Doongerwadi staff was instructed by the Trustees to place the body in the morgue as a "Lavarish" corpse, and as per the rules followed over the years insert a public notice in the Bombay Samachar calling upon any genuine relatives to claim the body for doing the religious rites, and in absence of any such relative complying or coming forward it would imply that the BPP would undertake all the 4 day after life prayers for the deceased. This could only happen once the body was cleared with due police formalities as there was no other real blood relation left who could claim the body. That night the police were informed to await the arrival of the Chairman Mr. Dinshaw Mehta from Delhi and Mrs. Tirandaz and the Doongerwadi staff were instructed by the police to move the Senior Inspector of Malabar Hill Police Station in the morning, and the body was allowed to be kept that night in the mortuary.

The next morning on 13th March, the BPP Chairman along with Trustee Mrs. Tirandaz and the Manager Mr. Jimmy Poonawalla met the Senior Inspector of Malabar Hill Police Station along with Mr. Fitter and Mr. Phiroze Kotwal resident of adarbad on Hughes Road (who was brought by Mr. Fitter). Mr. Fitter handed over a letter of complaint dated 13-3-2013 now showing his correct and factual Dadar residential address (contrary to the Cusrow Baug address he stated in Form 4 at the Gamdevi Police Station), asking the Senior Inspector to lodge an FIR against Dinshaw Mehta and Armaity Tirandaz for not handing over the body of his alleged "kakiji" to him and requesting Senior Inspector to direct the Trustees to hand over the dead body of his aunt to him reiterating that she was in fact his Blood Relative. He also claimed that threats were given to him and if any undue accident or death happened to him then to hold the above two persons responsible.

The Senior Inspector being worldly wise asked Mr. Fitter for proof to show his blood relationship-like his name on Miss Bharucha’s ration card or electric bill or bank account or any other proof to show the blood relationship. Obviously Mr. Fitter could not produce any cogent proof. The Senior Inspector was informed that the Chairman buy cheap cialis online was in Delhi for two days, 11th and 12th March attending a National Conference of the Minority Commissions of all States. After further queries which Mr. Fitter was unable to clarify, he admonished Mr. Fitter, that as he could not prove any relationship with Miss. Bharucha, hence he could not be given possession of her body and informed our staff to do the religious rites as per Parsi custom and instructed his staff to advise Gamdevi Police Station to release the body in the custody of the Trustees for her last funeral rites. The next day, by her letter dated 14th March to Gamdevi Police station, Mrs. Tirandaz requested the Senior Inspector there to release the body to BPP for the ceremony to be performed at our Towers of Silence on 15th March at 2 pm.

As per our BPP protocol, Ms. Bharucha’s funeral was announced to be held on Friday the 15th March, 2013 at 2.00 p.m. in the Mumbai Samachar. No blood relations were present at the funeral, except for a few friends of t
he deceased. Mr. Fitter did not attend any of the 4 days after life ceremonies which were performed at the Godavara Agiary, in Fort. Mr. Fitter was conspicuous by his absence for all these ceremonies, except he was, as expected, present for the funeral ceremony (paidast) performed in the lower bungli at the Doongerwadi complex in an attempt to bolster his false claim of being a blood relation of Miss. Mani Bharucha.

The BPP’s Principled Stand against Mr. Mehernosh Fitter: In the case of Miss. Mani Bharucha, she lived as the sole occupant in a Cusrow Baug flat which can be confirmed by her neighbours and friends residing in Cusrow Baug. Mr. Fitter knowing this, made a false declaration that she was his kakiji and giving his address on Form 5 of the Gamdevi Police Station, stating that he lived in Cusrow Baug, when in fact in his letter to the Malabar Hill Police Station, he gave his actual Dadar Parsi Colony residential address.

Clearly, Mr. Fitter was trying to create a paper trial, which in this instance he was unable to do, thanks to the prompt action taken by Mrs. Tirandaz and the ever vigilant Doongerwadi staff and the BPP staff of the Wadia Committee, who in fact went and put a double lock and placed a security guard outside the Cusrow Baug Flat in order to prevent trespass into the flat.

B.P.P.’s Appeal:

Importantly, BPP requests those lonely, and elderly single persons living alone to be careful of such persons, whose sole aim it would seem is to first befriend old and unsuspecting persons, show as if they were assisting them, gain their confidence and finally create a scenario and paper trail to usurp all their belongings and assets including their property.

TRUSTEES

BOMBAY PARSI PUNCHAYET

  • Mr.Dinyar Panthaky

    Mr.Fitter is a notorious personality and this can beexpected from him. It is not the firsttime he has attempted such a stunt. I congratulate the BPP Trustees in foiling this attempt. I also thank Mr.Arzan Wadia for bringing out this news in his site.

  • Mr.Dinyar Panthaky

    Mr.Fitter is a notorious personality and this can beexpected from him. It is not the firsttime he has attempted such a stunt. I congratulate the BPP Trustees in foiling this attempt. I also thank Mr.Arzan Wadia for bringing out this news in his site.

  • Mr.Dinyar Panthaky

    Mr.Fitter is a notorious personality and this can beexpected from him. It is not the firsttime he has attempted such a stunt. I congratulate the BPP Trustees in foiling this attempt. I also thank Mr.Arzan Wadia for bringing out this news in his site.

  • Mr.Dinyar Panthaky

    Mr.Fitter is a notorious personality and this can beexpected from him. It is not the firsttime he has attempted such a stunt. I congratulate the BPP Trustees in foiling this attempt. I also thank Mr.Arzan Wadia for bringing out this news in his site.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    Terrible and frightening. The people that prey on the elderly AND the BPP!

  • Bomansha Patel

    I have neither an axe to grind for anybody nor any intent to beliitle anyone. This week another old gentleman, residing in Cusrow Baug expired and from what I read to -day in Times of India, BPP is reported to have impounded the corpse and denied the person who has advertised in the obit column the right to perform Geh Sarna. One can understand the anxiety of BPP to avoid trespass and third party rights being created.But then this should be done during the life time of such lonesome tenants by obtaining required declaration that they are residing alone and that the flat would revert to the Trust when they are no more instead of behaving in a manner that would make even Shylock look like a gentleman. What if a particular deceased has : 1) Ceased to be a Zoroastrian?, 2) What if such a deceased had expressed a desire to to donate his or her body for medical research.? 3) What if the deceased despised the current failed ‘system’ and wanted to opt for alternate mode of disposal.? The actions of BPP are downright coercive and high handed.The most amazing aspect of this case of late Mr. Chinoy is that his name just does not find a place in BPPPAIDAST website.

  • Farida Aibara

    Why has the BPP decided that Mr. Merwanjee Ardeshir Chinoy of M-36 , 1st floor Cusrow Baug, does not deserve a mention on the BPPPAIDAST website…he deserves some respect.

  • Garothmaan

    I also have somewhat undergone the same situation during the death of my Masaji. People who visit our elderly people regularly and influence their minds with motives to grab their rich belongings and residences should be bewared of. They always turn about and say that we are interested in blessing only and when the elderly people get charmed by these words, they start showering them with luxuries.

    Some families also have lawyers and advocates who continuously brainwash such people for legacy. In my case a notable lawyer in our family made my mother sign surreptitiously a very important document. When we went to the police station they said these type of cases are civil cases and go to court.

    They are so malicious that they will tarnish your images in the society long before you notice it and can get you removed out of your beloved relative’s mind. Here you need to constantly keep visiting your elderly people and remain in their sight. If you are out of sight you get out of mind.

    It is for their relatives to take proper action and seek right legal advise. Most of these malicious people are well placed in society and have good contacts with police and can bend the law and trick you wickedly. If they do not succeed in their evil designs they will go to Astrologers and tantrics to give their evil motives results.

    In my case there is a Parsi husband and wife with their adopted son, who regularly visit my blood masiji and during my Masaji’s death they started informing their friends and family that their so called DAD has expired. They are both showing the world how humble and innocent they are but they will surely go to hell.

    Jokingly the informed said how many dads do you have?.

    Believe me even while entering the registers at Dongerwadi these husband and wife were inducing my masiji to enter their names as family members, but due to a little legal knowledge of mine, I objected to it and told the Dongerwadi staff to show them as just friends only. I have proof of it.

    A simple obituary note in a news paper can be used as proof to grab legacy, if proper caution is not taken by relatives, and can cause great loss to them.

    It is my appeal to elderly Parsis that, quarrels and fights in family happen as part of life, but they must forgive their young people and endow them all the rights. Only in extreme cases, where there is no one, people can claim their right by consent or legal formality. I am still reluctant to take legal steps, because I am from a middle class family. And such legal cases god knows will take how much time. This is fact and me and my family are victims of it already.

    A proper awareness program should be held by the trustees during their election party’s for elders informing them of such fraudulent practices by malicious members of the community. People should boldly stand up and fight for their rightful legacy and not let others infuse themselves and take wrong advantage of their loneliness.

  • Garothmaan

    I also have somewhat undergone the same situation during the death of my Masaji. People who visit our elderly people regularly and influence their minds with motives to grab their rich belongings and residences should be bewared of. They always turn about and say that we are interested in blessing only and when the elderly people get charmed by these words, they start showering them with luxuries.

    Some families also have lawyers and advocates who continuously brainwash such people for legacy. In my case a notable lawyer in our family made my mother sign surreptitiously a very important document. When we went to the police station they said these type of cases are civil cases and go to court.

    They are so malicious that they will tarnish your images in the society long before you notice it and can get you removed out of your beloved relative’s mind. Here you need to constantly keep visiting your elderly people and remain in their sight. If you are out of sight you get out of mind.

    It is for their relatives to take proper action and seek right legal advise. Most of these malicious people are well placed in society and have good contacts with police and can bend the law and trick you wickedly. If they do not succeed in their evil designs they will go to Astrologers and tantrics to give their evil motives results.

    In my case there is a Parsi husband and wife with their adopted son, who regularly visit my blood masiji and during my Masaji’s death they started informing their friends and family that their so called DAD has expired. They are both showing the world how humble and innocent they are but they will surely go to hell.

    Jokingly the informed said how many dads do you have?.

    Believe me even while entering the registers at Dongerwadi these husband and wife were inducing my masiji to enter their names as family members, but due to a little legal knowledge of mine, I objected to it and told the Dongerwadi staff to show them as just friends only. I have proof of it.

    A simple obituary note in a news paper can be used as proof to grab legacy, if proper caution is not taken by relatives, and can cause great loss to them.

    It is my appeal to elderly Parsis that, quarrels and fights in family happen as part of life, but they must forgive their young people and endow them all the rights. Only in extreme cases, where there is no one, people can claim their right by consent or legal formality. I am still reluctant to take legal steps, because I am from a middle class family. And such legal cases god knows will take how much time. This is fact and me and my family are victims of it already.

    A proper awareness program should be held by the trustees during their election party’s for elders informing them of such fraudulent practices by malicious members of the community. People should boldly stand up and fight for their rightful legacy and not let others infuse themselves and take wrong advantage of their loneliness.

  • Garothmaan

    I also have somewhat undergone the same situation during the death of my Masaji. People who visit our elderly people regularly and influence their minds with motives to grab their rich belongings and residences should be bewared of. They always turn about and say that we are interested in blessing only and when the elderly people get charmed by these words, they start showering them with luxuries.

    Some families also have lawyers and advocates who continuously brainwash such people for legacy. In my case a notable lawyer in our family made my mother sign surreptitiously a very important document. When we went to the police station they said these type of cases are civil cases and go to court.

    They are so malicious that they will tarnish your images in the society long before you notice it and can get you removed out of your beloved relative’s mind. Here you need to constantly keep visiting your elderly people and remain in their sight. If you are out of sight you get out of mind.

    It is for their relatives to take proper action and seek right legal advise. Most of these malicious people are well placed in society and have good contacts with police and can bend the law and trick you wickedly. If they do not succeed in their evil designs they will go to Astrologers and tantrics to give their evil motives results.

    In my case there is a Parsi husband and wife with their adopted son, who regularly visit my blood masiji and during my Masaji’s death they started informing their friends and family that their so called DAD has expired. They are both showing the world how humble and innocent they are but they will surely go to hell.

    Jokingly the informed said how many dads do you have?.

    Believe me even while entering the registers at Dongerwadi these husband and wife were inducing my masiji to enter their names as family members, but due to a little legal knowledge of mine, I objected to it and told the Dongerwadi staff to show them as just friends only. I have proof of it.

    A simple obituary note in a news paper can be used as proof to grab legacy, if proper caution is not taken by relatives, and can cause great loss to them.

    It is my appeal to elderly Parsis that, quarrels and fights in family happen as part of life, but they must forgive their young people and endow them all the rights. Only in extreme cases, where there is no one, people can claim their right by consent or legal formality. I am still reluctant to take legal steps, because I am from a middle class family. And such legal cases god knows will take how much time. This is fact and me and my family are victims of it already.

    A proper awareness program should be held by the trustees during their election party’s for elders informing them of such fraudulent practices by malicious members of the community. People should boldly stand up and fight for their rightful legacy and not let others infuse themselves and take wrong advantage of their loneliness.

  • Garothmaan

    I also have somewhat undergone the same situation during the death of my Masaji. People who visit our elderly people regularly and influence their minds with motives to grab their rich belongings and residences should be bewared of.

    They always turn about and say that we are interested in blessings only and when the elderly people get charmed by these words, they start showering them with luxuries, which these malicious people readily accept such gifts and tell the society that their so called worthless relatives do nothing for them and we get these prizes in blessings.

    Some families also have lawyers and advocates who continuously brainwash such people for legacy. In my case a notable lawyer in our family made my mother sign surreptitiously a very important document, without personally bweing present. When we went to the police station they said these type of cases are civil cases and go to court.

    They are so malicious that they will tarnish your image in the society long before you notice it and can get you removed out of your beloved relative’s mind. Here you need to constantly keep visiting your elderly people and remain in their sight. If you are out of sight you get out of mind. You must continuously try to regain your good image and prove such people false.

    It is for their relatives to take proper action and seek right legal advise. Most of these malicious people are well placed in society and have good contacts with police and can bend the law and trick you wickedly. If they do not succeed in their evil designs they will go to Astrologers and tantrics to give their evil motives results.

    In my case there is a Parsi husband and wife with their adopted son, who regularly visit my blood masiji and during my Masaji’s death they started informing their friends and family that their so called DAD has expired. They are both showing the world how humble and innocent they are but they will surely go to hell.

    Jokingly the informed said how many dads do you have?.

    Believe me even while entering the registers at Dongerwadi these husband and wife were inducing my masiji to enter their names as family members, but due to a little legal knowledge of mine, I objected to it and told the Dongerwadi staff to show them as just friends only. I have proof of it.

    A simple obituary note in a news paper can be used as proof to grab legacy, if proper caution is not taken by relatives, and can cause great loss to them.

    It is my appeal to elderly Parsis that, small quarrels and fights in family happen as part of life, but they must forgive their young people and endow them all the rights. Only in extreme cases, where there is no one, people can claim their right by consent or legal formality. I am still reluctant to take legal steps, because I am from a middle class family. And such legal cases god knows will take how much time. This is fact and me and my family are victims of it already.

    A proper awareness program should be held by the trustees during their election party’s for elders informing them of such fraudulent practices by malicious members of the community. People should boldly stand up and fight for their rightful legacy and not let others infuse themselves and take wrong advantage of their loneliness.